In The Media
Keith and Sonja Meadows, a husband-and-wife team from Westminster, Md., founded Animals’ Angels. Traveling exhaustively and obsessively through rural America, Canada, and Mexico, they infiltrate livestock auctions and slaughterhouses, surreptitiously recording diseased and abused animals and posting the videos on the Internet, along with detailed investigative reports.
The Meadows’ work has made them important figures in the emotional debate over horse slaughter in the United States. Their exposé of a horse auction in New Mexico created a statewide uproar that pushed the attorney general and the legislature into taking a stand against a proposal for a new slaughterhouse.
We have some great news to share with everyone -- the Swiss retailer ALDI, a grocery chain that is well known all over the world, has informed Animals' Angels and our coalition partners that they will no longer carry horse meat products in their stores. A large vendor, the Aldi chain had a contract to obtain their horse meat products from the Canadian plant in Richelieu, Quebec, so this is another blow to the Canadian horse slaughter industry. Aldi's decision was made as a direct result of our EU campaign where footage from AA’s trailing of a load of horses from kill buyer Bruce Rotz to Richelieu in January was shown. Aldi was the last of the Swiss retailers to fold -- we're thrilled to say that now ALL Swiss retailers have stopped selling American horse meat. Aldi's has advised us that they will sell off the horse meat products that are still in their Swiss stores now, but they will not order anything new. This is excellent news for our horses indeed!
They are idols of the American West, heros of cowboy movies and children's stories, such as "Black Beauty" and "My Friend Flicka," and a national audience will cheer their speed and power at this weekend's Kentucky Derby. Neverless, until recently, we slaughtered horses in this country for food -- not for domestic consumption, because few Americans eat horsemeat, but for export to Europe and Asia where their meat is considered a delicacy. The practice ceased to exist here in 2007 and -- despite an effort to revive it in the past year -- remains illegal because Congress has withheld funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect horse slaughterhouses. The prohibition is tenuous, and depends on Congress holding back resources from the USDA each year. Still, the tide of public opinon in the U.S. has turned against horse slaughter.
When Suffolk Downs trainer John Botty found out that Our Revival could wind up as dinner on somebody’s plate, he felt as if he had been punched in the stomach.
“Oh my God,” he says of the possibility of his former racehorse being sent to a Mexican slaughterhouse. “It would be like losing a family member.”
Although Americans never would consider horse meat as a delicacy, it is widely consumed in some European nations and parts of Asia. Since US domestic horse slaughter ceased in 2007, US exports for slaughter in Mexico have skyrocketed, increasing 660 percent, according to a June 2011 Government Accountability Office report. In 2010, 138,000 horses were transported to either Canada or Mexico for domestic and international consumption
Sonja Meadows reached carefully through the slats of the dingy, white horse van and gently grabbed the lip of the frightened-looking Thoroughbred. Bobcat Bandit_2 Working quickly, she flipped the chestnut’s lip, revealing the bright pink flesh underneath, and a tattoo identifying him as a racehorse.
As thousands of wild horses and burros are rounded up from their free roaming life on the range, tensions run high for their future.
With close to forty thousand wild horses and burros languishing in long term warehousing, the time for solutions is critical. Experts in the field challenge the current management system and the non-scientific myths and biased views about the wild horse. Despite the current crises for the horses, this film is a journey of beauty into the meaningful presence of America’s mustangs on the earth and in our lives.
Animals’ Angels provided footage for the film.
Here's a new endorsement from well known photographer & author Tony Stromberg:
"Wild Horses in Winds of Change" is a beautifully crafted documentary. It shines a bright light on our society and what it values (and doesn't). Many documentaries point the finger of blame, and showcase all that has been done wrong. This film offers and inspires new alternatives, while it calls on us to look at ourselves and our culture and our deeper values, without implying guilt. The film artfully portrays the broken spirit in the eyes of the wild horses, but also reflects a broken spirit in ourselves that truly needs healing. As we help our wild brethren, we are also helping ourselves... there is no separation. "Wild Horses in Winds of Change" calls to us to be guardians of the natural world, as well as the wild part that is deep inside all of us. --And it does so with heart and inspiration.